THE FIRST VISIT OF PRIME MINISTER LIAQUAT ALI KHAN TO USA;
A CHUGHTAI’S PAINTING PRESENTED TO TRUMAN AT BLAIR HOUSE.
History was in the making. So much fanfare was created by the first visit of a Pakistani Prime Minister to USA. A lot of photo snaps are on record, of both Prime Minister and his wife. It was reported at that time and it came in the newspapers later too, that a painting of M.A. Rahman Chughtai had been presented to the US President Truman. It set a tradition of presentations of Chughtai Art Works to foreign Heads of State. It was diplomacy at its height on that evening on 3rd May, 1950. On 25th, February, 1950, US Ambassador Avra M. Warren presented his credentials to Governor General of Pakistan, Khawaja Nazimuddin.
The interesting part is that very recently then Khawaja Nazimuddin had inaugurated an exhibition of M.A. Rahman Chughtai at Alhamra Lahore, which was also the inauguration of the Lahore Arts Council. And sometime later in 1950, on the visit of the Shahinshah of Iran, Prime Minister Liaquat Ali Khan had also visited the exhibition. Prime Minister was well familiar with Chughtai Art and had expressed an interest in acquiring Chughtai Art works for presentation to Heads of State. So, it was done by the Foreign Office.
It was a great mission of peace but it did not go well. In fact, Avra M. Warren reported that:
“After hearing this from the U.S. Ambassador Avra Warren, Khan’s mood was much more aggressive, and he reportedly said: “Pakistan has annexed half of Kashmir without American support and would be able to take the other half too”.
לאחר ששמע את הדברים הללו משגריר ארצות הברית, אברה וורן, הפך מצב רוחו לתוקפני יותר ועל פי המדווח הוא אמר: “פקיסטן סיפחה את מחצית שטחה של קשמיר ללא תמיכת האמריקאים והיא מסוגלת להשיג את השליטה על החצי השני
The result we all know. A sad day for Pakistan, with the assassination of the Prime Minister of Pakistan.
Where is this painting now? We did contact the US State Department and they talk of four Chughtai Art works in the State Department itself, but could not provide images. We then contacted the Truman library too. No progress made. Although some other works are in account. Like the one presented by President Ayub Khan, is in the Kennedy Memorial in Boston, USA. Our job to keep track, and enrich our archives for the future. Yes, our job is well done!
5 thoughts on “THE FIRST VISIT OF PRIME MINISTER LIAQUAT ALI KHAN TO USA; A CHUGHTAI’S PAINTING PRESENTED TO TRUMAN AT BLAIR HOUSE.”
Great history of presence of Chughtai art at important world events,.
Blair house was the residence of President Truman from 1948 to 1952 as White House was being reconstructed. This is the official State Guest house at that time. There was an assassination attack on Truman there. It is in Washington DC. There are many other Blair houses but this the official one.
Strange paradox Truman survived an assassination attempt in 1950, while Liaquat Ali Khan could not in 1951. No one learns.
Keemat deni parti hai
Loss of Liaquat Ali Khan was a great blow to Pakistan.